So you’re coming to Lithuania and you don’t know the language. Well, you should be fine as long as you speak either Russian, Polish or English and provided you stay in Vilnius for the pleasures and comfort of English (the further from the capital, the less chance there is).
From my modest experience, Russian is always your best bet. In my everyday encounters with all sorts of linguistically unidentified individuals, I don’t even ask any more and try my luck in Russian directly. The vast majority of Lithuanians, both young and old, speak it to some degree, the probability decreasing with age.
The same goes for Polish, although you will often be surprised to meet young people speaking very good Polish. Don’t expect it to be the standard Polish though, Poles living in Lithuania speak the Northern Kresy dialect, perfectly understandable but with some major differences in pronunciation and vocabulary…
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Look down and you will see this pair of footprints. They weren’t there last year so I asked the helpful staff from the National Museum who look after the bell-tower visitors what they represented.
They were put there to mark the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way, the 2 million strong human chain which stretched from Vilnius to Tallinn on August 23rd 1989.
Lithuania has come a long way in those 25 years and it started here.
And without giving too much away it’s not too far from the Stebuklas MiracleTile
NB This is NOT a news item!
Ambushed, handcuffed and interrogated by the KGB: Welcome to the terrifying tourist attraction that transports you back to the USSR (but you’ll have to sign a waiver first)
Being ambushed, blindfolded and interrogated isn’t exactly a normal tourist experience, but in Lithuania it is a hit with visitors.
The Eastern European country offers a chance for holidaymakers to experience what life was like under the control of the USSR – using real dogs, former KGB officers and taking place in a former Soviet bunker.
The terrifying experience starts with visitors being ‘ambushed’ by the Red Army in the middle of the forest, 25km from the capital Vilnius, before being transported down into the bunker for a three-hour Soviet experience.
Seeing red: The ‘captives’ are lined up before they are marched underground to take part in manual labour and be interrogated
Before taking part in the experience, which is called 1984:…
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Those 5 weeks I lived and studied in Kaunas were memorable for many reasons not least the diversity of the students, mostly on Erasmus programmes.
The two Turkish agricultural management students enlivened the International party with their dancing skills.
See also Memories of Summer School
We’ve presented at a couple of conferences (for the ICF and Vilnius University) and a breakfast seminar for the British Chamber of Commerce in Vilnius.
We’ve also collaborated with PK, a consultancy in Kaunas.
If you’re interested in what we’ve done click on this link here: SGA-LithExp2014
This is a blast from the past. I’ve just had an e-mail from Greg, a fellow student at the VDU Summer School with me in 2008 (there were just fourof us who had English as our native language). Greg is an American who later married a lovely Lithuaniuan lady and now lives in Kaunas (their story deserves a blog post in itself).
Anyway he’d dug out a video onYouTube that was made during our Summer School featuring trips to Druskininkai and Grutas Park and our wonderful International Party where we enjoyed food from all the countries represented on the course and some traditional Lithuanian dancing (I’m in there somewhere with my own video camera).